Kate Gray and Armin Tolentino
We welcome poets Kate Gray and Armin Tolentino reading from their newest collections: For Every Girl (Widow and Orphan House) and We Meant to Bring it Home Alive (Alternating Current Press), respectively, at 7 pm on Tuesday, September 17th.
For Every Girl is a love song to and celebration of the girl, the queer, the survivor in all of us. In these poems we find not only testimony to the resiliency of girls but an invitation to delight in the pure pleasure of their joy. The book features new and selected poems and includes a conversation between Gray and Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita Paulann Petersen. Frances Payne Adler, poet and founder of the Creative Writing and Social Action Program at CSU-Monterey Bay, says “I am in awe of these poems of praise and compassion, and their fierce and tender feminist wisdom.”
We Meant to Bring it Home Alive moves from astronauts drifting lost through space to whalers hauling dragon weight through dark waters to fossil hunters of the nineteenth-century Bone Wars. The voices in this collection all seek one uniting thing: connection. Exploring distance, forgiveness, disconnection, and regret, the speakers – regardless of their fantastical or absurd situations – are simply people severed from their loved ones, their gods, their faith, or what they once believed was true about the world.
Kate Gray’s first full-length book of poems, Another Sunset We Survive, was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. She is also the author of two chapbooks: Bone-Knowing, winner of the Gertrude Press Poetry Prize, and Where She Goes, winner of the Blue Light Chapbook Prize. Her first novel, Carry the Sky (Forest Avenue Press), stares at bullying without blinking. She’s been awarded residencies at Hedgebrook, Norcroft, and Soapstone, as well as a fellowship from Literary Arts. She recently retired from teaching full-time at Clackamas Community college and lives in a purple house in Portland with her partner and one impetuous dog.
Armin Tolentino grew up in New Jersey and received his MFA at Rutgers University. His poetry has appeared in Hyphen Magazine, Arsenic Lobster, The Raven Chronicles, and elsewhere. He is a recipient of a fellowship from Literary Arts and is an avid (albeit usually unsuccessful) fisherman. Tolentino lives in Vancouver, Washington, with his wife and her three chinchillas.